We have previously discussed some of the ways in which social media, email and other modern forms of communication may impact family law cases. Depending on the nature of your case, opposing counsel may seek out evidence on your social media accounts and your own attorney may be able to use evidence from another party’s accounts in order to advance your claim.
As a result, it is important for you to ask your attorney how any forms of electronic communication that you or another utilizes may be able to work either for or against your claim. In understanding evidentiary restrictions, you may be able to better protect your own interests and/or hold another individual accountable for behavior that may impact the outcome of your case.
For example, if your child’s co-parent regularly posts pictures on a social media account of him or herself using illegal drugs, this may potentially be used as evidence that you are a fitter parent for your child and that you should be awarded either primary or sole custody of your child.
However, it is important that you and your attorney work within the boundaries of the law in order to obtain such evidence. In one recent case, a judge ruled that when a cellphone company turned over tens of thousands of texts in a divorce case involving an order of protection that the company violated federal privacy laws. While your case may benefit if certain evidence comes to light, it must be gathered properly and legally.
Source: Associated Press, "50,000 Texts Handed Over in Maine Divorce," Feb. 7, 2014